Luatua forced to apologise for neknominate video
January 14, 2014
All Blacks and Blues forward Steven Luatua has been forced to apologise after an ill-advised appearance in a video posted on social media caused widespread condemnation.
Luatua was filmed pouring beer down a man's throat at a private party as part of a current social media craze called #neknominate. This is described as a drinking game where people film themselves necking as much alcohol as they can and then nominate friends to do the same. They then try to outdo each other as the games become more extreme. Doctors have warned of the dangers of the craze.
"I'd like to apologise for any harm my involvement may have caused," Luatua said. "When asked to participate I went along with it but in hindsight I should have dealt with the situation a lot more responsibly.
"I found myself in a compromised situation at a private function and made a poor choice. I was unaware of what the game itself involved and I certainly do not condone irresponsible or dangerous drinking. I'm hoping this statement goes some way towards making amends."
Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said: "It's disappointing that Steven has got himself into this predicament and made an error of judgment. I've spoken to him about it and he's deeply apologetic. It's very uncharacteristic of him as he is a great role model and has always set a good example to others."
Blues chief executive Michael Redman said: "We have a set of social media and alcohol policies in place supported by thorough education and awareness programs. Unfortunately in this situation Steven has had a lapse of judgment and made a mistake. It serves as a timely reminder to everyone ahead of the season about risks and responsibilities, particularly around social media."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton